Swanky Sailor Moon styles selling now at Tokyo department store

Swanky Sailor Moon styles selling now at Tokyo department store

With three months to go until the delayed beginning of the long-awaited new Sailor Moon TV series, fans have a lot of time on their hands. Some have filled this with dressing their dogs up like characters from the hit anime, while others have undressed to reveal their Sailor Moon lingerie.

But what if you want not just anime-themed underwear, but outerwear as well? If that’s the case, one Tokyo department store is ready to be your one-stop shopping destination with a whole store of clothing inspired by the pretty guardian herself, Sailor Moon.

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You know you’ve been in Japan too long when…

You know you’ve been in Japan too long when…

So you’ve been living, lounging, working, or studying in Japan for a while now. The feelings of homesickness you first experienced are but a distant memory, and whenever you Skype with your family, you unconsciously use the word “home” to refer to your place in Japan rather than your home country. Not only that, you can finally navigate the Tokyo Metro without getting flustered, barely even notice when a girl dressed in kimono passes you in the street, and you think nothing of visiting a convenience store two or three times a day, sometimes just to flick through the magazines.

But what about all of the things you do unconsciously or that seem so normal to you now but would make you stop and stare back home? Today, we bring you a list of 10 moments that, if and when they happen to you, you can safely say, “Wow, I’ve been in Japan too long.”

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We try the adorable Krispy Kreme chick donuts convincing Japan to love Easter

We try the adorable Krispy Kreme chick donuts convincing Japan to love Easter

Japan has wholeheartedly embraced Christmas and Halloween, but Easter is a different story. In a way, this is kind of surprising, as a holiday that gives people an excuse to dye eggs in pastel colors, eat chocolate, and even dress up like a bunny if they’re so inclined seems like it would hit the Japanese trifecta of cuteness, desserts, and cosplay.

But while Halloween and Christmas have become mainstream cultural events with decoration going up months ahead of time, Easter comes and go with such a lack of fanfare in Japan that some years we’ve completely forgotten about it until after the fact.

Thankfully, donut emporium Krispy Kreme is looking to up the celebration ante with its new chick-shaped Easter donut.

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Screw it with a smile thanks to this unusual screwdriver set from Tokyo artist Yuma Kano

Screw it with a smile thanks to this unusual screwdriver set from Tokyo artist Yuma Kano

When it comes to screwing, most people would choose a Phillips head or a flat-head to get the job done. Or if you’re in Japan, where they use different terms, you’d ask for a plus (+) or a minus (-) screwdriver to get things going. Now though, it seems the humble screw has just received a facelift, thanks to a clever design collaboration between a Tokyo artist and a manufacturer from Osaka. The only thing cuter than a tiny smiley screw is the adorable driver that screws them in!

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Japanese gamers dominate tournament, win back portion of money they’ve pumped into arcades

Japanese gamers dominate tournament, win back portion of money they’ve pumped into arcades

Even as the number of gamers worldwide continues to grow, video games remain a regular scapegoat for poor social skills, low grades, and neck beard-level hygiene. This holds true even in Japan, where parents and educators commonly voice their fear that without a strict curfew or school rules requiring pupils to head home straight after class, they might give in to temptation and –gasp!- stop off to play a few games at the arcade.

Game fans in Japan are finally getting some good press, though. For starters, studies show that playing Nintendo’s perennial hit Super Mario 64 can improve both your memory and sense of direction. And if your pursuits are more monetary than mental, mastery of fighting games can even earn you a nice-sized chunk of cold hard cash, like it did for the Japanese competitors who dominated the recently held Id Global Tournament in Korea.

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Miyazaki Blu-ray collection to be released with special bonus content but won’t come cheap!

Miyazaki Blu-ray collection to be released with special bonus content but won’t come cheap!

We’re sure many of our readers have seen films by Hayao Miyazaki and know first-hand what it is like to be utterly drawn in to the fantastic yet convincing world he creates. Now, it’s unlikely anyone familiar with Miyazaki’s works will dispute that he is a giant in the anime industry, but a new DVD collection which has recently been announced reminds us just how much of a giant he is.

That’s right, a collection of anime films directed by Miyazaki will be released on June 18, and we have to say the list of movies it includes is impressive. What’s more, the films will all be in Blu-ray and come in a fancy package with extra bonus content! What fan wouldn’t want one of these, right?

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【TBT】China’s Photoshop experts will fix your bad photos, but be careful what you wish for

【TBT】China’s Photoshop experts will fix your bad photos, but be careful what you wish for

Thanks to the high level of image processing technology available, even a picture taken by an arthritic spider monkey can be made to look like something from Ansel Adams’ portfolio. Beyond that we can even create scenarios which stretch the limits of our imagination. With a little practice, one could create a seamless photo of Mickey Mouse punching Mr.T in the stomach while gold coins shoot out of his ears.

With this in mind, some Photoshop artisans have taken to the web in China and are using their unique skill sets to make right what once went wrong in the world of photography. However, sometimes wires intentionally get crossed, leading to some seriously hilarious results.
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Live-action Attack on Titan film casts lead role, sets filming location and start date

Live-action Attack on Titan film casts lead role, sets filming location and start date

Despite being filled with man-eating giants and heartless bureaucrats, people around the world can’t get enough of smash hit anime and manga Attack on Titan. But while fans wait patiently for the rumored continuation of the animated TV series, production is moving ahead on the franchise’s live-action theatrical feature, which now has a filming location and an actor chosen to play Titan-hating protagonist Eren Yeager.

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Watch out! Pokémon Fusion gets a lot more real with some wicked fan art【Photos】

Watch out! Pokémon Fusion gets a lot more real with some wicked fan art【Photos】

Back in June 2013, talented programmer Alex Onsager brought us Pokémon Fusion, showing us what would happen if two Pokémon were to…ahem…get it on and…um…put the head and color scheme of one Pokémon on the body of another. While the combinations turned out to be pretty cool and cute in sprite form, fan artists have taken these new Pokémon to a whole different level. If this Cuchan is any indication, you gotta “check-out-the-rest-and-try-out-your-own-combinations-to-see” ‘em all.

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Fear and haunted houses in Japan: An interview with ScareHouse sociologist Margee Kerr

Fear and haunted houses in Japan: An interview with ScareHouse sociologist Margee Kerr

It’s almost summer and that means a lot of stuff in Japan—Golden Week, brain melting humidity, Obon, and of course, horror movies and haunted houses. While many people in the west binge on horror flicks and spooky attractions as Halloween nears, Japanese people tend to get their fright on during the summer months.

We recently caught up with Margee Kerr, a sociologist who studies fear and helps the world famous ScareHouse terrify their patrons—in a good way of course! Margee was in Japan studying how fear works across different cultures and we were excited to learn about the similarities and differences in the reactions between Japan and America to horror. Check out our interview with a true master of fear at one of Tokyo’s scariest bars: Yurei Izakaya in Kichijoji!

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Get lost all the time? Can’t read maps? Study says you should play more Super Mario 64

Get lost all the time? Can’t read maps? Study says you should play more Super Mario 64

I personally never really understood where the stereotype that women are bad at map-reading comes from. When most of the women in my life are more composed, logical, and organised than I or any of the guys I know, it seems odd that girls should be known as poor navigators.

If you do happen to be female and utterly hopeless with maps, though, a recent study suggests that you might benefit from playing video games more often, with findings suggesting that those who regularly pick up a controller have a better sense of direction and get lost less often.

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Pearl River Delta confirms recent risk ranking with severe hail storm

Pearl River Delta confirms recent risk ranking with severe hail storm

No sooner was it announced the third most at-risk area for natural disasters in the world than the Pearl River Delta in China was hit by extremely severe rain storms with giant hail and damaging winds. The region, which is composed of several major urban centers has experienced flooded subways stations, canceled flights, and destroyed shopping centers due to heavy downpours.

Some of these scenes have been recorded and shared online in video form.

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Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

For those of you who worked up an appetite searching the world for pokémon on Google Maps, Denny’s has the perfect snack! As of April 1, the chain’s Japanese restaurants will be offering Pokémon-themed pancakes on their new menu. Pikachu comes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, honey, whipped cream, and bite-sized pieces of orange, banana and raspberry.

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Here’s the military exercise that has North Korea freaking out

Here’s the military exercise that has North Korea freaking out

A joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea has freaked out North Korean leadership.

The annual drill, named Foal Eagle, runs from Feb. 24 to April 18 and features Marines from both countries.

North Korea views the drill as a possible threat and has responded by ratcheting up its own military rhetoric.

Further, The Hermit Kingdom has announced military drills of its own, and launched hundreds of missiles toward a disputed maritime border with South Korea. The country has also promised a new kind of nuclear test in response.

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Guy lifehacks his way to flawless “Seven Samurai” wall art

Guy lifehacks his way to flawless “Seven Samurai” wall art

When I was a freshman in university, still meandering aimlessly around campus as a General Education (read: “Future Starbucks Lifer”) major, I spent a brief stint in the art college thinking I’d give drawing or maybe even painting a try. After several months of doodling poorly-drawn machine gun-wielding dinosaurs attacking stick figures while my classmates were effortlessly putting together impressive full canvases, I decided I wasn’t really cut out for fine arts.

If only, like this guy, I’d known I could use clever lifehacks to give me an edge in class. The unnamed do-it-yourselfer used simple tools including a few different sizes of paint brush, a paint roller and an old-school projector hooked up to a computer to transfer an iconic scene from Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai onto a barren dining room wall with stellar results. To top it all off, he claims he has no formal training or innate art talent and that anyone with enough time and just the right amount of crazed dedication to pop culture can do it.

Here’s his step-by-step guide:

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Kuos Beer promises all the flavor of beer without any of the other fun stuff

Kuos Beer promises all the flavor of beer without any of the other fun stuff

If you’re not a fan of watery beer, then the new beer Kuos is definitely not for you. It’s about as watery as a beer could possibly get. In fact, although it’s a beer by name, Kuos is better described as a carbonated water with the pleasant bouquet of delicious ale.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to cut back on alcohol, carbs, and/or calories without loosing the beer drinking experience then Kuos may be perfect for you since it contains absolutely none of those things.

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We learn about the deep-sea armored isopod, then eat one 【Video】

We learn about the deep-sea armored isopod, then eat one 【Video】

Last month, we brought you word about a special event at an aquarium in Yokohama where guests were going to be able to eat deep sea armored isopods, which are known in Japanese with the somewhat more descriptive name of ogusokumushi, or “giant armored bugs.”

We all had a good laugh at the zany idea for a publicity stunt, and our chuckling continued right up until the moment our boss said, “OK, one of us has to go try them.”

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Cat locks owner out of the house, confirms plans for world domination

Cat locks owner out of the house, confirms plans for world domination

We’ve all had days where things just go inexplicably wrong. Forgetting your homework, tripping over the cat, or worst of all, getting locked out of the house–all of these are horrible ways to start or end any day of the week. But have you ever wondered why it seems that when one thing goes bad, everything goes bad? Well, this video might provide an answer to the mystery: It’s all the cat!!

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Stray animals, trash cans and national dress: 10 things you probably never realised about Japan

Stray animals, trash cans and national dress: 10 things you probably never realised about Japan

Last summer, I was riding the subway with some friends from home who were visiting me here in Nagoya, Japan. Suddenly, my friend pointed at a sticker on the window behind us. “What’s that?” he asked, staring wide-eyed at the image of a smiling cartoon golden dragon wearing a train conductor’s uniform. “That’s the mascot of the Nagoya Transportation Bureau,” I replied, happy to be imparting local knowledge. “Oh,” he said. “And why does the Transportation Bureau need a mascot?” 

You see, it’s the little things that can be most surprising about a culture that’s not your own. Today, we bring you a list of 10 quirky things that you probably didn’t know – or may not have realised – about everyday life in Japan.

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